Policing the sex binary : gender verification and the boundaries of female embodiment in elite sport / Sonja Erikainen

Erikainen, Sonja

Edited by University of Leeds, School of Sociology and Social Policy. Leeds - 2016

This report presents the findings from a research project analysing the history of the IOC’s and the IAAF’s gender verification policies from the 1930s till the present. The report outlines how the boundaries of the sex binary (i.e. female/male) and the borders of the female category have been navigated by the IOC and the IAAF through gender verification policies, and how the IOC and the IAAF responded to threats or challenges posed to the female/male division by bodies that did not fit neatly into the confines of the binary categories. The report concludes that when the IOC and the IAAF police the sex binary, they in effect police that female athletes’ bodies adhere to cultural ideas about what ‘normal’ female embodiment is taken to imply in specific temporal contexts

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